Chris Reed/Quenton Nelson Vs. Vita Vea
In the end, it was Nelson getting the start, and despite his injury he once again performed at an elite level, not allowing a single pressure on 51 pass blocking snaps facing a very tough Buccaneers front. The Colts did not even try to run the ball consistently, so Nelson did not have much to do in that department, but Vea more than held his own in the run game.
Eric Fisher Vs. Shaquil Barrett
This is the matchup that cost the Colts the game. Eric Fisher was just abused by Shaquil Barrett all game long and allowed the stip sack that changed the course of the game. In the end, Fisher allowed 4 total pressures, and it looks like once again the Colts will have to be searching for a starting left tackle in the offseason.
Rock Ya-Sin Vs. Mike Evans/Chris Godwin
I am really happy to say the Lock Ya-Sin season continues, as Rock once again had himself a solid game and had it not been for a dropped interception and a questionable pass interference call, it would have probably been his best game of the season. The Colts have found a more than capable starting cornerback in Ya-Sin, and I have plenty of confidence in the Ya-Sin/Rodgers duo for next season.
Matt Eberflus Vs. Tom Brady
Even though the defense allowed 38 points, that number is definitely misleading. The Colts' defense got screwed in plenty of ways. Brady, as usual, got the benefit of all questionable calls, and Hines muffed a punt on the Colts’ 18-yard line. However, the defense once again failed to show up and help the Colts maintain a lead. Brady had all the time in the world to throw, Gronkowski and Fournette killed the Colts on third downs, and Tampa Bay’s running backs found open holes all game long. This defense is greatly missing its starting safeties and desperately needs another edge rusher to complement Kwity Paye.
Ryan Kelly Vs. Devin White
Devin White missed 34 snaps with a hip injury he suffered during the game, and when he was on the field, his impact was limited. That injury was surely bothering him and limiting his elite sideline-to-sideline speed, thus preventing White from making any sort of plays on the field. The talented linebacker finished with just 3 tackles but was solid in coverage.